A Urals villager discovered a stockpile of Kalashnikov assault rifles packed in the wooden crates he bought for $15 from a stranger to use as fuel for his winter stove.
A total of 79 guns and 253 cartridges were stuffed in more than 60 wooden boxes bought by a resident of the village of Sovkhozny in the Udmurtia republic, Interfax reported Friday.
The 57-year-old man said he bought them from a truck driver for 500 rubles to heat his home.
The fully functional rifles, produced in 1959 and 1960, were on their way to a recycling plant from Izhmash, one of the country's oldest arms-manufacturing plants, the company said, when they wound up in the man's possession.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, appointed in December by President Dmitry Medvedev to oversee the country's defense industry, said he would open a probe into the mysterious appearance of automatic rifles.
"Wow! I will hold a meeting with Izhmash about its firearms next week, and we will deal with this miracle," he wrote on his
It was not immediately clear whether the truck driver was aware that he was carrying firearms in the boxes that he had rushed to cash in on.
"I imagine how scared the West is of our nuclear arms," Facebook user Oleg Zabara wrote in a comment on Rogozin's post. "Not because they exist, but because they could accidentally fall on them [by mistake], just like those rifles got to that old man."